• Passenger service between mechanicville and albany?

  • Discussion relating to the D&H. For more information, please visit the Bridge Line Historical Society.
Discussion relating to the D&H. For more information, please visit the Bridge Line Historical Society.

Moderator: MEC407

  by TrainPhotos
When was the last passenger train to operate between mechanicville, ny and albany, ny? Date, time, day, any details would be amazing, THANK YOU!!!!
  by TrainPhotos
After some extensive digging I have found a general answer. The last year mechanicville was served was 1979. After this the Adirondack was switched off the D&H route and sent via Schenectady once they had rebuilt passenger station there.. Pretty interesting!
  by Benjamin Maggi
I assume you mean regularly scheduled passenger service. I point that out because I have a couple of slides of a Guilford passenger train that ran as a railfan special in 1984. I think it may have operated between Albany and Mechanicville.
  by Engineer Spike
There have been several non scheduled passenger trains since. One was the annual Toys for Tots train. Usually CSX brings its business train to Saratoga for the races too.
  by The EGE
The Adirondack was rerouted off the D&H between Albany and Saratoga Springs with the timetable effective April 30, 1978. The stops at Watervliet and Mechanicville were dropped at that time.

Here's what Mechanicville station looked like in 1975:

And Watervliet in 1978:

Here's an MBTA-powered excursion in the Mechanicville yard in 1982:
  by MEC407
Wow. I've seen neighborhood bus shelters that look more welcoming than those "train stations!"
  by Benjamin Maggi
Where exactly was the Watervliet station located? If I wanted to see where it was located today, where would I look?
Thanks for the great pictures.
  by ChiefTroll
The original Watervliet station was on the north side of 19th Street, east of the tracks. When I was at RPI 1959-63, I used to walk to Watervliet on a Friday afternoon and flag 34 by setting the green and white flag in its holder. 34 did not handle passengers from Watervliet to Albany, but I was going to Richmondville on 208, so I was good to go. Some first-class mail from 34 went south on 208 to Binghamton, and then on EL 10 to Scranton and east.

I bought my ticket ($2.37, if I remember correctly) at the Troy Union RR ticket office in the Troy Hotel. Troy Union Station had already been razed.

- Gordon Davids
  by Engineer Spike
Gordon, the picture posted above looks like it was by Colonie Yard. Is that where it was in the 1970s, or was the shelter at 19th. St. Watervliet?
  by ChiefTroll
The shelter in the photo with Watervliet, Menands, Troy, etc on the sign was at Colonie Yard. on the west side of the main track. The industrial building in the background was Watervliet Arsenal. I don't recall just when the large station at 19th Street in Watervliet was abandoned and razed.

In the late 1960's, before Amtrak, Penn Central had sold Albany Union Station and built stations at Renesselaer and Karner Road. The Laurentian and the Montreal Limited had been rerouted to run on PC from Rensselaer via Schenectady although the equipment still came from Colonie via the new connecting track to the Livingston Ave. Bridge. That required some awkward backup moves.

I remember one time in 1970 or 1971, pre Amtrak, when I was the Track Supervisor at Oneonta. The passenger trains were running via Schenectady. I was on an office car special from Binghamton to Colonie via Mechanicville. One of the Erie Lackawanna vice presidents, not an operating officer, pitched a fit over the 20 mph speed restriction on the main tracks at Mohawk Yard.

He threatened to have me fired if I couldn't lift that "slow order." I tried to tell him that it was not a track problem, but on account of the switches and crossovers between MX and GV Cabins not being equipped with electric locks in TCS territory. Greg Maxwell finally told him to get over and go sit down.

There was a good operating reason for not installing electric locks, because it would have played havoc with switching operations at Mohawk. There were time delays built into those locks, and if the door to the lock was opened you could not clear a signal at MX or GV over that track, or the adjacent track as well if it was a crossover.

- Gordon Davids
  by staustell92
I humbly disagree with Chief Troll on the identification of the industrial building in the background behind (east of) the Watervliet station. The structure is Building 29, the D&H car shop, at Colonie.

The Watervliet Arsenal would be a little further north and further away in the background. Before you would see the Arsenal, you would see Building 1, the Colonie locomotive shop.

Across Lincoln Ave from the station was a bar on the corner of Spring St, known in the 1980's as "Dappers". I have no idea what it was called in the period when Chief Troll took the train out of Watervliet on his way to Richmondville.

The entrance to the D&H Colonie Shop facility was at 5th St. in Watervliet and the D&H Police had their office (a small brick building) there. To the right would have been Bldg. 1, the locomotive ship. The road from the entrance was essentially an extension of 5th St. and went straight through to the west side of the property past Bldg. 28 (carpentry shop) and Bldg. 29 (car shop) to the coach yard, both on the left. I've forgotten what the smaller buildings were on the right out there. Directly west across the coach yard and the mainline was the 1970's-era Colonie station shown in the photo.

I have a 1991 detailed article on the Colonie facility which includes two aerial photos of the facility and a number of diagrams, if I only knew how to attach it here.

By the way, I was one of Bucky Dumaine's "Best Dressed Gandy Dancers" who Chief Troll saw at Richondville in the summer of 1967 when he was on the D&H inspection train.
  by Engineer Spike
One of my fellow D&H engineers was on the Susquehanna Div. track gang summers in the late 1960s. He was to be drafted, but enlisted. After making a career out of it he returned to D&H.